Westside Neighborhood Council -- Bike Lanes On Westwood?!?

Please come to the Westside Neighborhood Council meeting this Thursday evening at 7 p.m.

 

There will be someone from the LA Bike Coalition discussing proposed bike lanes on Sepulveda, Westwood, and Avenue of the Stars -- something that is scheduled for hearing on February 19th.

 

We love cycling and want to create a bike network on the Westside, but anyone who walks or drives down Westwood between Pico and Santa Monica knows that taking out lanes, or parking, or creating a bus/bike transit lane (that was vigorously opposed on Wilshire) will necessarily reduce lanes, and motorists will "peel off" onto the residential streets to find the path of least resistance.  This will not work for the community, for the businesses, or for the safety of cyclists.

 

In short, Westwood Blvd. simply can't handle this proposal, and even the local cyclists find the proposal unworkable.

 

Please come to the meeting and voice your opinion.  At Westside Pavilion, third floor, Community Room A, behind the food courts.

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Comment by barney desimone on February 17, 2013 at 5:26pm

All symptoms of the engineered downgrade of the standard of living. Remember the images of the poor Chinese riding bikes in massive herds that we used to see back in the 80's. That's going to be us. Welcome to the future. If you can embrace it and roll with it, more power to you. Just do so with both eyes open.

Comment by Dylan on February 17, 2013 at 3:39pm

Samantha, I just wanted to pass on a couple of links in case you hadn't considered this. Current trends indicate that, more than likely, your kids will one day be biking or walking at least part of their commute. I don't have a point to make here, just food for though. 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/are-we-reaching-peak-c...

http://m.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/03/why-dont-young-am...

Comment by barney desimone on February 16, 2013 at 9:23pm

That would be about right. Car travel by the common man is to be discouraged. It's not a family friendly concept, but then population reduction is the ultimate aim. Less people means less carbon output and environmental damage. These people are serious. The library I work for has a large meeting room. One of those groups meeting regularly is the Global Exchange. Their literature proposes that rivers and forests have rights and they have lawyers who will represent them against human interests. Sounds crazy but that's what the radical Environmentalists are about.

This all comes down from the UN. The beaurocrats there have a tremendous envy of the American standard of living. We use too much of the world's natural resources for their taste. The agenda is to work through NGO's and local councils to bring about changes in our lifestyle that nobody in their right mind would ever directly vote for. It's a giant end run around national and personal sovereignty. It's made tremendous progress under the radar for the most part, but people are becoming aware. It's getting late in the game with the Expo Line already well on it's way to completion. The Expo's coordinate hand in hand with these developments along their routes. It's not ad hoc but a wholistic plan. Check out the Expo website. It's telling.

Comment by barney desimone on February 16, 2013 at 2:02pm

I like to ride a bike too. It's just not pracitcal transportation for most people. For the larger agenda Google Agenda 21 ( the Agenda for the 21st Century ) and ICLEI. There are some interesting You Tube clips if you don't have time to read a lot. I work at a library so I've been able to read some of the source documentation and academic literature supporting it. It's being pushed on a bipartsan basis at every level of government up through the international level. L.A. City and County and Santa Monica are signed onto ICLEI which is the local organ of Agenda 21. Bush Sr signed the agreement at the Rio Summit and Clinton created the structure that's pushing it. The Expo line and the way it's been implemented is a signature event for the urban plan side of ICLEI. There are far reaching plans for rural areas as well that may not affect us drectly. Our main local issue will be densification and a loss of quality of life.

I was born in Santa Monica nd have had a home near Pico and Westwood since 1952. The Expo line is going to be like a dagger through the heart of WLA. The mall was bad enough. What's coming will be worse. If you ever try to drive and park near the walking mall in Santa Monica you'll get a glimpse of the future. Parking down there is an expensive nightmare and crowding is terrible. It's going to get much worse when they put in the first 400 units planned for Lincoln and Colorado near the EXPO station on 17th St. That's the model, huge compact housing over mixed use retail on a transit line. Planned stations are at Palms and Motor, Westwood and Exposition and Sepulveda and Pico. The only station where a major development isn't planned so far is on Westwood. I don't think it's zoned for one yet. There's a subway through Hollywood into Westwood in the works and the locals are already fighting planned developments along the route. That's our kids' future if nothing is done to stop it. 

 

Comment by barney desimone on February 16, 2013 at 11:04am

Common sense Samantha. I agree with everything you said. You took into account the actual reality on the streets and the actual mentality of the majority of the people who use them. The bike crowd do seem to have an attitude that they are morally superior. That attitude is fostered by the propaganda coming from the mass transit, bike, walk crowd, the same people who are pushing for massive densification. The 568 units planned for Pico and Sepulveda next to the Expo station is an example. They want WLA to be "walking friendly" also "biking friendly". What that really means is that they will creat so much congestion that it will be impossible to drive and park anywhere. Another term they use to describe this in their promotional material is "tranist village". Maybe they should describe their perfect residents as transit peasants. That's what they realy want. There are forces out there, the environmentalists being one, that are not happy with America's current standard of living. A house and a car don't fit into their agenda. A bike and a 400 sq ft "apartment" is their ideal of "sustainablillity". The biking crowd may just be pawns in this movement while some of the leaders have a wider agenda. You'll find that anywhere the mass transit lines go this whole agenda follows. The hip and happy bicyclist is just a convenient face to put on an ugly process. Maybe useful idiot is too harsh a term, but they will be the ones left bleeding in the street. It already happens where these bike lanes are in. The false sense of secuirty of a painted line only makes it worse.  

Comment by Dylan on February 15, 2013 at 11:45pm

Samantha, I ride a bike to work. I don't feel holy about it. I never think about the environment while I'm riding. I simply enjoy it personally. I drive too. Your generalizations are simply inaccurate. Have you tried biking?

Comment by Calla Wiemer on February 15, 2013 at 8:59am

There was a good turn out at the Council meeting in support of bike lanes.  That die-hard bikers such as myself spoke in favor was not surprising.  What was surprising was that many people who are not now biking Westwood Blvd said they would like to do so if they had the safety of bike lanes.  It was nice to hear from the city representative that she could get behind the proposal offered by the LA County Bicycle Coalition.

Comment by barney desimone on February 14, 2013 at 4:17pm

Dylan, my objection to bike lanes on Westwood is not a matter of "personal taste" as you stated. It's a matter of safety. That's point number one. Don't put words in my mouth. If we're going to have an intelligent conversation let's start by not misrepresenting other people's comments. If you want alternate modes of transport why not try a motorcycle or scooter. At least you can keep up with the flow of traffic that way and no special lanes would be needed. If you can't afford gas for a scooter, then there is the bus and walking. If your personal taste is for riding a bike, you can ride on the side streets and get anywhere you want to go without adding to the mess on Westwood or the other main Blvds. It would be a lot safer than playing Mortal Combat with major auto traffic. Venice Bl is a big biker route and they have a lot of bike/car mayhem there. We already know what this looks like.There are a lot of older people who can't ride bikes. They need to have cars to get around. Not everyone is 25 years old.  Maybe designated side streets could have bike lanes with regulated stop lights at major street crossings. If getting from point A to point B safely on a bike is the goal, there's your solution.

Comment by Calla Wiemer on February 14, 2013 at 2:15pm

As someone who both bikes and drives Westwood regularly, I know the current system does not work well for either mode of transport.  It's harrowing being on a bike and frustrating being in a car stuck behind a bike.  LA County Bicycle Coalition has a creative proposal that makes the best of the situation IF we take as given the need to dedicate the public roadway to providing parking spaces for private businesses.  But consider that street parking meets only a small fraction of the parking needs of Westwood businesses anyway.  Most businesses have absorbed the cost of providing off-street parking.  Many businesses see better access for bikers as a way to attract customers for whom there is no need to provide expansive parking.  The roadways are a community resource.  Is the community better served by tying up space with parking or by creating a thoroughfare that accommodates both cars and bikes comfortably?

Comment by Dylan on February 14, 2013 at 2:13pm

For the record, I am a person who bikes on Westwood, and it is scary sometimes. I am not a "developer." The only development I support is for safe streets for people of all ages and all modes of transportation. The image of a 1950s-esque utopia of "happy motoring" on Westwood Blvd. neglects the contemporary reality.

Barney states that he likes bike lanes but only when they suit his personal taste. But I assume you do want cyclists to use the bike lanes, Barney. Well, just as you can't put in roads willy-nilly and expect them to be useful, you also can't just put bike lanes wherever it seems least inconvenient at the moment. We are talking about people going to work in the morning and coming home in the evening, 5 days a week. Streets like Westwood are the only choice for these cyclists to get from A to B. And there are good reasons to support bike commuting:

(1) Increasing the number of cyclists (getting some folks out of their cars), thereby reducing the number of cars on the road, is common sense. (2) Since the economy is in bad shape and automobiles and gasoline are very expensive compared to bikes, the conclusion in favor of more cycling makes financial sense for many of us. Those are only two of the many very good arguments in favor of more bicycling infrastructure.

I want to end by seconding Eddie's intelligent comment: "we need to start thinking about how to deal with [traffic]. And it's not by just having more lanes for cars."

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